Leader Material - Nylon vs Flourocarbon ?

Dave Wilkins

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Hi
As I am slowly getting my kit together for my attempt at catching a Salmon , I wondered about leader material . What are peoples preferred leader materials and breaking strains ? Should I go for flourocarbon or nylon ? If its nylon clear or dark ?
I have had some flourocarbon hooklinks break while fishing for barbel due I believe to abrasion on rocks ( 10lb BS) so I am slightly concerned to use it for Salmon !
Any help much appreciated !
Cheers
DWW
 

sgellert

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It's gonna be a long thread, but let me be the first one to recommend Maxima Ultragreen in 12-15lb.
I've had fluorocarbon break for no reason multiple times as well.
 

The flying Scotsman

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I only use fluorocarbon in the spring for big fish 23kb seaguar and 12lb maxima (i like the clear) for summer fishing unless there's a chance of a bigger fish then I go 15lb maxima.
You can't go wrong with maxima mate and the salmon aren't leader shy like trout so don't get too concerned with diameter
 

Rrrr

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15lb brown maxima with 10lb in the summer. Simple and works.

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mc andy

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As someone starting out, and not to overcomplicate this, 15lb maxima is not only reliable but good value. So would thoroughly recommend it.

You will get loads of individual preferences, but if many were to pick one? I'm sure this would be it.

And good luck! Cheers andy
 
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paddymc

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As someone starting out, and not to overcomplicate this, 15lb maxima is not only reliable but good value. So would thoroughly recommend it.

You will get loads of individual preferences but! It if many were to pick one? I'm sure this would be it.

And good luck! Cheers andy
The voice of reason (y)
 

MCXFisher

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When you are first starting out 15lbs Maxima is as good as anything else: the colour is immaterial. You can worry about fluorocarbon in the years ahead.

Just remember that Maxima is lighter than water, so to get your fly down you will need to use sinking polyleaders. It's therefore worth having a selection of different sink rates in your pocket.

A polyleader is part of your leader, so if you're fishing in shallow water, you need a length of Maxima about the same as your rod; once you add a 10' polyleader you will only need a couple fo feet of Maxima added to the polyleader, using either a leader ring or a loop-to-loop connection.
 

Tangled

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10lb Maxima Ultragreen for the single handed rod and 15lb for the double for me.

if you want to know far too much about nylon and fluorocarbon:

 

Rennie

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This as usual will descend into the usual Maxima vs Seaguar thread.Suffice to say that there are more Monofilament lines than Maxima and more Flurocarbons than Seaguar.Don't be blindfolded by just those two! (but both are very good choices!)
Whichever you pick, something thats clear can't be a bad choice!.
However I do agree whole heartedly for someone taking their 1st Salmon fishing steps that Maxima is a pretty damn good choice (and thats from a fluorocarbon user!) cheap as chips, easily available, extremely tolerant of mistakes, cock ups and fankles - of which you will make plenty of!.
Buy the Ultra Green in 10lb, 12lb and 15lb and as Michael suggests a full set of 10ft poly leaders and some 3mm Rivers leader rings.This will allow you to create a "Leader" which is a vital part of Salmon fly casting.
By the way, there is no "Best" things are what you make of them!.
Good luck however you roll, Pedro.
 

Dave Wilkins

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When you are first starting out 15lbs Maxima is as good as anything else: the colour is immaterial. You can worry about fluorocarbon in the years ahead.

Just remember that Maxima is lighter than water, so to get your fly down you will need to use sinking polyleaders. It's therefore worth having a selection of different sink rates in your pocket.

A polyleader is part of your leader, so if you're fishing in shallow water, you need a length of Maxima about the same as your rod; once you add a 10' polyleader you will only need a couple fo feet of Maxima added to the polyleader, using either a leader ring or a loop-to-loop connection.
Thanks for the advice on polyleaders ! Much appreciated .
 

Dave Wilkins

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10lb Maxima Ultragreen for the single handed rod and 15lb for the double for me.

if you want to know far too much about nylon and fluorocarbon:

Wow that is some article ! I will settle down later with a coffee and read it . Good job I am doing an Open University Science degree at the moment . There looks like some serious science in there !
 

nickolas

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Then there’s copolymers,! An interesting one I’m using these days is tapered leaders on a spool (5 each spool) in Norway on full floating line with 15-18ft leaders without a poly leader , tapering from 60lbs down to 20lbs +. But keep it simple with nylon and a bit of stretch as with your barbel.
 

Dave Wilkins

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Nickolas , that is an interesting point . I was sorting through my sea fishing gear yesterday and noticed that I have a spool of tapered beach casting leaders . They run from 70lb to 15lb . They are a lot cheaper than the " game " fishing ones ! I might have a look at using them . You get 5 on a spool for about £7 I think .
 

Woodsy

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I only use fluorocarbon in the spring for big fish 23kb seaguar and 12lb maxima (i like the clear) for summer fishing unless there's a chance of a bigger fish then I go 15lb maxima.
You can't go wrong with maxima mate and the salmon aren't leader shy like trout so don't get too concerned with diameter
I fished with low dia mono with a breaking strain of 9kg most of this season. It was great stuff and I would like to up this in the spring to get extra strength and better turnover of heavier tubes, my only concern is that my running line or polyelader would break before the mono would. How do you get around this issue when snagged with 23kg line?
 

simonjh98

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I fish with 10, 12, 15 and 17lb fluorocarbon respectively depending on conditions. I've been using the Seaguar soft plus mostly this season. Ultra low diameter and great knot strength. Feels like it could tow a bus. Love the stuff
 

Tangled

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I fished with low dia mono with a breaking strain of 9kg most of this season. It was great stuff and I would like to up this in the spring to get extra strength and better turnover of heavier tubes, my only concern is that my running line or polyelader would break before the mono would. How do you get around this issue when snagged with 23kg line?

The hook will probably straighten out first.

You'd have to test it, but also thinner diameter line is more brittle (it's been drawn thinner, heated and stretched more) it'll break much easier than 'normal' mono if shocked - particularly if it's fluorocarbon. So you could try giving it a sharp tug.

fyi

“I tested 6lb (0.22mm) Maxima Ultragreen against 6.4lb (0.22mm) Greys Fluorocarbon by hanging 48” lengths of each from my garage ceiling joists and attaching a 1lb weight.

I then dropped the weight fom 47” then inch by inch until the lines broke from the dead drop.

The fluo broke at an average of 3” while the Maxima broke at 14”.

The same test with Sightfree G3 6lb, 0.18mm fluorocarbon broke at 2"

In contrast 6lb 12oz, 0.17mm Reflo Power which advertises itself as resin impregnated mono and is therefore presumably nylon broke at 9”.

(More home-based tests welcome)
 

Rrrr

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The hook will probably straighten out first.

You'd have to test it, but also thinner diameter line is more brittle (it's been drawn thinner, heated and stretched more) it'll break much easier than 'normal' mono if shocked - particularly if it's fluorocarbon. So you could try giving it a sharp tug.

fyi

“I tested 6lb (0.22mm) Maxima Ultragreen against 6.4lb (0.22mm) Greys Fluorocarbon by hanging 48” lengths of each from my garage ceiling joists and attaching a 1lb weight.

I then dropped the weight fom 47” then inch by inch until the lines broke from the dead drop.

The fluo broke at an average of 3” while the Maxima broke at 14”.

The same test with Sightfree G3 6lb, 0.18mm fluorocarbon broke at 2"

In contrast 6lb 12oz, 0.17mm Reflo Power which advertises itself as resin impregnated mono and is therefore presumably nylon broke at 9”.

(More home-based tests welcome)
Ive had issues with the sight free g3 snapping on hard takes when trout fishing. This may explain it, cheers.

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Rennie

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Woodsy, I think 23kg leader might just be over the top for the UK, perhaps 101% of the time!.Flylines and running lines are usually 30lb bs, the std Salmon poly leaders are 24lb bs, thats for std stuff any way!
There's quite a few considerations when choosing cast material as a part of a balanced set up.Diameter, abrasion resistance, rigidity, breaking strain, colour/clarity, ability to accept knots and good old fashioned reliability and toughness, and its easy to go too far in one aspect or another.
For my 'heavy duty' Salmon Fishing, I see no reason to go beyond 20lb Maxima or 23lb Seaguar, two popular choices that will deliver everything a Salmon Angler needs in spades ( as far as the UK is concerned! ), turn over of the heaviest tubes, strong enough for just about anything one may encounter, reliable, but within the parameters of what you actually need but will still be a weak link should you hook the plug and have to pull for a break.
Good turn over comes from having a leader of a finer diameter and less weight than the fly line or poly leader that is propelling it out across the water.
I'd also think carefully about the diameter of any cast material in regard to the fly size in use!, too heavy/thick can inhibit fly mobility, reflecting on your over all results with Salar.
Maybe running with convention isn't a bad idea?, admire your line of thinking, but maybe in this instance its a tadge extreme!
Good luck, Pedro.
 

Loxie

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Tarry rope, aka Brown Maxima in 10 to 20lb bs will set you off as well as anything and better than most. When you get more experienced and want to take things further you will find one material cannot do everything well. You may well also discover that the popular belief about salmon not being leader shy isn't actually true. Well it might be true in some circumstances: both dirty water, very fresh fish etc, but you will always do better to assume they are.
 

Tangled

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Ive had issues with the sight free g3 snapping on hard takes when trout fishing. This may explain it, cheers.

You have to be careful with thin diameter lines, particularly fluorocarbon; they're far more brittle than 'full fat' lines. They won't tell you that on the box. All they tell you is breaking strength but that's measured by pulling an unknotted line gradually until it breaks - fish don't co-operate like that. Personally I avoid thin fluorocarbons - far too many unexplained breakages. If I need to go fine for, say, flat calm dry fly stuff, I use thin nylons - they've got lower shock strength but not as low as fluorocarbon - and try to be careful.
 
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